Every boat operator must know the rules that apply in the sharing of waterways, in order to safely navigate. When navigating at night or by restricted visibility, the operator must be able to recognize a boat by the color and positioning of its navigation lights to determine what actions to take to avoid a collision.
According to the Collision regulations, an operator of a power driven vessel of less than 12 metres in length, and underway, may display, from sunset to sunrise:
According to the Collision regulations an operator of a power driven vessel of more than 12 metres in length, and underway, may display, from sunset to sunrise:
The operator of a sailboat operating under sails at night shall, from sunset to sunrise, display:
A sailing vessel may exhibit at or near the top of the mast, two all-round lights in a vertical line: the upper one red and the lower one green. These lights are shown along with the sidelights and sternlight.
For sailboats operating under motor power:
A vessel engaged in fishing, other than trawling, shall display:
A vessel when engaged in trawling, which means dragging a dredge net or other fishing apparatus through the water, shall display:
At anchor, the operator of a pleasure craft shall display, from sunset to sunrise, in the fore part, an all-around white light. A powerboat anchored at night must display an all-around white light.
Navigation lights are also required for human-powered vessels (canoe, kayak) or for a sailing pleasure craft of less than 7 metres in length not under power. When underway, the operator shall, from sunset to sunrise, display, if practical, sidelights and a sternlight, but if the operator cannot, he/she must have at hand, a flashlight or lighted lantern emitting a white light which must be lit in enough time to prevent a collision.